Their Amazing Voices by Susan

So, the first album is done, the guys have a name, and they are on their way to America! But wait a minute, we talk about Their Amazing Voices, but we haven’t said what each voice is and how they work together. So, let’s listen to how the voices work.

I could go back to 2010 when they recorded their first album but for this story, I want to go back to March 2020 when the guys cancelled their last three concerts and went home. We were all locked in our houses! One world united in lockdown!
Think about how our lives have changed over the last two years. It’s surreal! During this time, many of us found a pleasant distraction by listening to our guy’s music. And the endless videos! Many of you told me that you got to know the guys better over these last year’s especially the first months when we were all in lockdown.
Remember how the guys would come on Instagram and Facebook and would invite us to listen to their conversations with their friends. And the funny videos of Piero and Ignazio.

In this video Piero is asking Ignazio to do an interview for him and Ignazio says he should ask Gianluca because he is very busy. Piero says Gianluca is not available to do it. Ignazio is surprised because he obviously knows Gianluca is not busy. Then Ignazio notices Piero’s very sunburned face. Ignazio asks did you use cream.  Piero says, “no oil.” The video is really self-explanatory, and, in the end, we realize it is all a joke. The look on Ignazio’s face when he realizes this was a joke is priceless! 
Ignazio, I have one question for you….

Where’s the payback?

It’s been a long time coming! Time to get even! It’s not like you to not payback!
Moving on….
Let’s not forget all the beautiful songs they sang for us. Especially their songs of prayer when things were really bad. They were with us every step of the way.
Piero’s “Ave Maria”

Ignazio’s “Hallelujah”

Gianluca’s “You Raise Me Up”

During the lockdown, I spent a good part of my days listening to these three amazing young men sing and at one point I said maybe I should do a review of what’s been going on in their lives over the last 10 years. After watching all the video clips including interviews and some full concerts, I was ready to talk about our guys.
But before I begin, let me say, since we are approaching the New World Tour starting in Barcelona on May 15th, this is a good time to revisit the story I wrote on March 29, 2020. A number of the fan pages picked up on the story and some have even used it on their Facebook pages to describe the voices of the guys. One person who read the story was Daniela Perani from Il Volo Flight Crew. After reading it she contacted me and asked if they could post my story on Flight Crew. The story was so popular that Flight Crew invited me to write for them. Now, I write the column Through the Fields of My Mind (www.ilvoloflightcrw.com) which explores the lives of Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca, our guys ~ Il Volo.

So, let’s begin with the story that over two years ago started my collaboration with Flight Crew and my interpretation of the life story of our guys! An Extraordinary Adventure as seen through my eyes!
Let me start off by saying these three young men are extraordinary! They are remarkable, exceptional, men! And, they have revolutionized the music industry. Let’s take a look at each one….
Gianluca is known as the Velvet Voice! I don’t know who coined the phrase, but that is right on. Let’s use our senses to understand what that means. Take a piece of velvet and hold it in your hand. Now take your other hand and gently pass your hand across the velvet. What do you feel? You feel a smooth even surface that is crisp with no breaks in it. The sensation is so good that you automatically go back and do it again. And every time it’s the same. It’s pleasing!
Now take Gianluca’s voice, let the notes pass into your ears, what do you hear? A crisp, smooth, even voice with no breaks in it. The note barely passes into your ears, and you are going back for the next note. It’s always pleasing!

Gianluca is a lyrical baritone. He is exceptional because he can sing from the lowest to the highest note in the baritone range. Most baritones are limited in range. Gianluca’s voice is huge. He has a very rich chest resonance which creates a feeling of depth and drama in his voice.
A baritone’s voice is very romantic, very pleasing to listen to and is always inviting. Most songs are written for baritones. Gianluca starts, almost, every song. Why? In order for a song to be received well you must draw your audience into it. Gianluca’s voice draws you in in a romantic way and you hang on to every note. He can mesmerize you with songs like “Mi Mancherai” where he reaches into the depth of your being. His interpretation of “Surrender” is electrifying. And when Gianluca sings, “She’s Always a Woman,” he takes your breath away. The highs, the lows, the emotion, the expression. His voice expands like nothing I ever heard before. He has total command of the song. You walk away with your senses lifted to another level.
Let’s talk about Ignazio, who I call the bridge. He is a lyrical tenor. He is exceptional because he can sing from the lowest to the highest note in the tenor range. And God knows he can, easily, hit the high C. Waiting for it and knowing it’s going to happen is so exciting! He brings so much to the production, but I’ll talk more about the production later!

A lyrical tenor has a warm graceful voice which is bright and strong but not heavy and it can be heard over an orchestra. Ignazio’s voice is smooth, clean and clear, with an acute extension. His voice has the ability to increase the baritone voice of Gianluca while softening the spinto tenor voice of Piero.
Ignazio is very whimsical in songs like “Libiamo ne’ lieti calici” from La Traviata. In an aria like “Una Furtiva Lagrima” from L’elisir D’amore it is necessary to have a voice that is flawless. Not only is Ignazio’s voice flawless but he has perfect intonation and diction. He can be very dynamic. He has absolute breath control, and he has elegance, agility and dramatic expression.
He’s an exceptional tenor whose voice explodes and expands in unusual ways. You glide along every note to arrive at another dimension in his voice. His articulation is exceptional! Every word is clear and crisp! Listen to the note extensions that form the complex sounds of his voice. Just beautiful!
To address only one side of Ignazio’s voice would be incomplete!  In his dedication to Pino Daniele, you hear an interpretation that is emotional and a delivery that is so amazing that you get the sense that Daniele wrote his songs for Ignazio.

And finally, Piero. Piero is a spinto (meaning pushed) tenor. A spinto tenor has the brightness and height of a lyric tenor, but with a heavier vocal weight enabling the voice to be “pushed” to dramatic climaxes with less strain than his lighter-voice counterparts. His voice is warm, graceful, bright, and can be heard over an orchestra. Piero has a powerful voice that easily reaches the higher notes. Every note that comes out of his mouth reaches us with such intensity and remains with us for a long time. It’s the voice that reaches out to you and demands your attention. Think of him singing E Lucevan le Stele from Tosca. Or singing the beautiful Spanish aria No Puede Ser from A Tabernera del Puerto. From the first note Piero pierces your soul! His passion comes through in his music. Arias are very dramatic and, Piero brings all the drama of the aria into his performance. Always a showstopper!

Now let’s put the voices together. Gianluca starts most songs because he is a baritone, and as I said, most songs are written for baritones. He draws you into the song. Gianluca will sing (in most cases) to Ignazio and Ignazio to Piero. This is how the three voices become one. Select one of their songs. Now close your eyes and listen to them sing. What can you say about this song? You can say, that is Gianluca or Ignazio or Piero singing. In the progression of the song, you hear the voices blend to form a symphony for your ears. Their voices are very distinct.

The first time Tony Renis heard the guys sing he said “I could not believe that these three young kids could sing like men of 45 years old. Their voices were huge! I realized they had great potential.” Renis called his producer friend Humberto Gatica and said “…if you are available, I would like to collaborate with you to produce these kids.” When Gatica heard them sing, he couldn’t believe their voices, he thought it was a fake, “They can’t possibly be teenagers.” Renis believed these kids would appeal to kids, mothers, fathers, everybody. He was right! They were the first Italian artists in history to sign a contract with a major American music label. Universal Music signed them immediately.
Most groups sing and you hear just a song but with Il Volo you are surrounded by voices. And the individuality of their voices entices you and it stays with you. Think of what Piero says when he introduces one of the solos, “After we were together a while, we realized we had three different voices.” He wasn’t saying that they suddenly found out they had different voices he was saying we are “three voices and one soul” and, we also need to show you those voices individually.

Let’s look at how they described one another when they first started out. I think Ignazio said Gianluca was the serious one, and Piero was the Intelligent one and Gianluca and Piero said Ignazio was the funny one. So, let’s take a look at that.
Gianluca, in most cases, seemed to be the spokesman for the group. I’m not sure if this is by chance or choice. He seems to always take the lead when they are in interviews. And he is constantly monitoring the conversation.
Piero is the intelligent one perhaps because he thinks everything through. In interviews he thinks before he speaks, and his answers are always intelligent. He’s very serious and you can tell he thought out the answer before he spoke.
And, Ignazio, the funny one. And that he is! But is it really about the joke? Or is it more about the production. Let’s turn to the production.
The stage is simple. One sign that says it all – Il Volo. There’s the orchestra. Guitars, drum, piano, violins and whatever other instruments are needed for the performance. I want you to stop and think about the performance. We know these guys have three amazing voices but, what if they got on the stage and for two hours, they did nothing but sing. I don’t think it would work. A performance needs the ability to move on. There’s no change of scenery and no intermission so how do you move the performance along? Ignazio!!! The joking he brings into the performance provides the levity to relive the seriousness of the performance. He brings a certain ease and suspense to the performance. The audience is always wondering, what will he do next. But is it always about joking? I want you to think about what I’m saying. Ignazio is constantly moving around the stage. He’s dancing and keeping the rhythm. He’s swinging the microphone around and constantly nodding towards the orchestra, Gianluca and Piero. Is that the lead up to a joke? I don’t think so. Let me tell you what you are looking at. Ignazio is following every note that is sung or played on that stage. His mind is in motion. He is sensitive and passionate with the music. He has the ability to see the music as it is happening. He knows where every instrument should come in and out. That’s why you notice little things like him smiling, nodding, pointing towards the musicians, Gianluca or Piero. He also grabs the baton from the conductor, sometimes to joke but more often to conduct.

Think about Ignazio conducting the Asti Symphony Orchestra while Marcello Rota sang his tenor part. He wasn’t joking, he was conducting. And that’s why everyone was watching him in amazement. And when it was over, they were speechless. Look at Michele Torpedine go across the stage to embrace him. He is in awe of this young man. Ignazio is music! You call him funny I call him brilliant!

Let’s go to the beginning. When these three young men started out, they were 15 and 16 years old. Think of being 15 or 16 years old and you have a dream, and someone tells you that that dream, needs to be shared. To fulfill that dream you have to leave your family, your friends, your home, you have to go to another country, and you have to share this journey with two people who you really know nothing about except that they had the same dream you did. You have to trust that the decision that was made by you and your family, was the right decision. If not, it’s back to square one! You’re going to be lonely, and you have to learn to survive without the people you love. So, you learn to lean on one another. That dependence turns into a friendship and that friendship into a brotherhood. It enabled them to trust enough to collaborate and perfect something truly amazing. Something that revolutionized the music industry. Let me go further by showing you a collaboration by these three amazing, very, very talented, young men that is so unreal that it boggles your mind. This is a collaboration of love. Stop and listen to this performance of Por Una Cabeza 

Look at how they smile at one another during the performance. A smile that says yes that’s it! Their faces are ablaze! Their expressions let one another know that it works. And, finally, when it’s over, they are so excited they can hardly contain themselves. Look at their smiles, their faces are lit up in joy and their embrace says it all! They are brothers who love one another!

So, we listened to Their Amazing Voices, and we find ourselves waiting for the next song or the next album.
We will take a look at all those albums in a future story but for now the guys have just released “You Are My Everything” the English version of Grande Amore. The guys will sing it for the first time at Eurovision on May 12thAvailable on Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music

This is the gift the guys gave us yesterday! It brought me to tears! They’ve done it again! Phenomenal!  

Did you notice something unusual in this video? Pay close attention to the video itself. I was enjoying the song so much that I didn’t notice it at first.
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!
If you would like to share a story with me, please email:  susan.flightcrew@yahoo.com
To read more Il Volo stories visit us at www.ilvoloflightcrw.com
Credit to owners of all photos and videos.

24 thoughts on “Their Amazing Voices by Susan”

  1. Merci Susan pour ce très bel article encore une fois. Lorsqu’ils chantent je distingue tout à fait leur voix, elles sont si différentes mais forment une telle harmonie et une telle symbiose… Je ne me lasse pas de les écouter.

      1. A rough translation :

        Thank you Susan once again for the very nice article. When they sing, I find their voices distinctive. Their voices are so different but form good harmonies. I never tired of listening to them.

  2. This begun my day after listening to this video yesterday. My heart is overwhelmed with pleaser and joy. Many people write of them but this was the best,the very best! Much of this information was known to me but not written with such great love! I feel I know this writer and that she is a dear friend. We are just sitting together, having a coffee and speaking of our three greatest lobes, Gianlucca,Ignacio, Piero known as Il Volo. Thank you for this new friendship, I will not forget you and will wait for the next time we meat!

  3. WOW Susan, what a punch. This story that we have lived with them and this new version of Grande Amore with so many words expressing what love is all about. Yes, love is grand. We and Il Volo are on the verge of sharing the love of great music, as the touring is just days away and we will share with them at each stop along the way. We love them and they love us. It is Grande Amore.

  4. Brilliant as usual Susan. I can’t disagree with anything you have said, except that these days Gianluca seems to be the quiet one.

    I have just read the Gian has tested positive for Covid. Does this mean he will be missing out completely, or behind a screen? Or, is this one of those untruths that we have all read about during the past two and a half years?

    Roz

    1. It’s true about Gianluca. He has got coronavirus. He will be appearing virtually while Ignazio and Piero will be on the stage. Should be “fun” because RAI production ain’t be great so far. Maybe he will be in an Arrrrrmani hazmat suit.

      Anyhoo I said last week about them singing Grande Amore in English, but you Roz were the only one who paid attention.

    2. It’s true Roz! He has tested positive. Piero and Ignazio will sing and I believe their wo=ill be something like a hologram and a voice over!

  5. I was wondering if the fade in and fade out of the coloration during the video was what you saw. Maybe some of their expressions. Ignazio didn’t have his hand on his face like Piero and Gianluca. Was that done on purpose? By the way, l just loved the new version of grande adore with the English and Italian. Mixed in together. The words are absolutely amazing. Thank you for sharing. Our boys are so gifted and talented. Sincerely, Irma

  6. This posting just goes to prove that Piero is a genius! When he sang Ave Maria, while playing his own accompaniment, he still was able to project his wonderful voice and interpretation of the prayer.

    We, Il Volovers, were so lucky that your genius was recognized by The Flight Crew and you joined them to produce such great stories for us. Thank you, Susan. Hugs, Dolores

    1. Of course I have to agree with you there Dolores! I downloaded the new Grande Amore from Amazon Music this morning. Not 100% sure I like it. Nice to know the English translation. Maybe it will grow on me in due course of time! 😉

      Hugs Roz 🙂

  7. They highlighted their picture as each sang his part. I love the English/Italian version of Grande Amore. So Gian will sing with Ignazio and Piero via remotely because of his positive Covid test. I think it will be fine but such a shame they won’t be together. Thank you for another wonderful story about our favorite guys ❤️❤️❤️

  8. Thank you again for a wonderful article. I just love the new Grande Amore with both the z Italian and English. Speedy recovery wishes Gianluca🙏🏼🙏🏼

  9. Beautifully written Susan. I was so sorry to hear about GG. It must be a disappointment to them to not be together on stage at Eurovision.Gianluca in my humble opinion is the best baritone in the world. Ignazio and Piero are also the best of the best. No one is comparable to them, singularly or as a group. Looking forward to more from you.

  10. Another wonderful article from you Susan, it is no wonder that the Flight Crew gang wanted you on board. I love the new version of Grande Amore and the highlighting of each one singing is a great idea. I’m so sad that Gianluca can’t be on stage with Ignazio and Piero tonight,he must be so disappointed.Thank goodness for modern technology! So, thank you again and I look forward to your next offering.

  11. Thanks Susan for another heart-warming article on our favorite three. We love them for their uniqueness and devotion to beautiful music.

    Isn’t this round two of COVID for Gianluca? I hope his youth helps him recover quickly.

    My theory of why Gianluca was the spokesman when they were young is that he was the better English speaker. He still is, but Ignazio and Piero do much better now. I wonder if this 2 1/2 years back in Italy has made them lose progress? Now that they are older and better with their English, they all seem to share the spokesman role equally. Piero and Gianluca always serious and Ignazio injecting humor.

  12. Absolutely beautifully written, Susan. I love your description of their voices! Amazing guys!

  13. I’m glad that even though Gianluca has to quarantine he is still able to sing. I think I remember that he suffered with symptoms last time.
    Does anybody know how soon American movies are available in Italy?
    I just saw the new West Side Story movie and I think this was a show that they liked.
    In an interview Ignazio mentioned that he had discovered Broadway musicals and they sing two of the songs from this one in their concerts.
    So how soon will they be able to see it?

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